I have a soft spot for Barbara Walters. Sure, her interviews are often beyond parody. But, as I learned when I made a minor mistake about Walters during my checkered days as a gossip columnist, she is a lady. Ms. Walters was incredibly gracious, not at all huffy when I met her the very next night (though her assistant informed me that a handwritten note would not come amiss).

I share Myrna Blythe’s dismay that Walters, a grande dame, even if she makes you giggle from time to time (all grande dames do), has allowed Rosie O’Donnell to drag her into a dogfight with Donald Trump:

“Barbara Walters must just hate being in the middle of the current junkyard dogfight going on between a snapping Rosie O’Donnell and a snarling Donald Trump. She comes from the Old School, the very Old School, and for decade after decade she has vigilantly guarded her sterling public image, strong-arming anyone who might even attempt to tarnish it….

“Frankly, it is poignant to see Walters at the end of an extraordinary career being so beaten down not only by Rosie and Trump but by the changing times. For years Walters used her classy style, her handwritten notes, and her gifts of Porthault linen to get the big ‘gets’ of her past interviews. That just doesn’t work anymore. Oh, she may still get a ‘get’ now and then, but nobody much cares anymore about a matronly interviewer exchanging niceties with a movie star or even a head-of-state. And Walters, I am sure, is smart enough to know that now she needs Rosie’s battering-ram style and big mouth to get the headlines and the ratings. But it sure does make her look very sad.”